Lovely Things Happen Too…

February 15, 2014 § 1 Comment

Bride “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.” Billy Joel, Only the Good Die Young

Last month Katherine and I were in Atlanta speaking at a conference. A wedding was taking place at the hotel we stayed at, and while in the elevator, headed to the business office to print out a talk, the Bride (pictured), along with the Wedding Coordinator, came into that small cubicle and transformed it into a magnificent room.

Because we live in a fallen world there is a tendency for those of us in the Faith to focus on the brokenness we share. There is no make-believe when it comes to the gospel. It exposes the painful manifestations of the fall. And for too long the Church was all ‘victory,’ and no reality. The Faith was presented as something people had to perfectly maintain more than a journey we set out on with Jesus, flaws, insecurities and all. The result was a lot of hiding – folks filled with shame, fear and guilt for not being able to live up to expectations never laid out in the scriptures, with no room for finding anything good in this broken world God created to be good.

But heaviness that isn’t balanced out with joy is a dangerous thing. It leaves the watching world with the impression that our end is misery, and our enemy is laughter, reducing the Church to the sorry end of a Billy Joel song.

In Ecclesiastes 7:14, Solomon writes, ‘When times are good be happy…’ He wasn’t proffering escape. His next words are, ‘but when times are bad, remember the same God has made them both.’ His point is that there is a vital balance in life and faith that enables us to live with the promise of good things, even in the midst of brokenness. Without this balance everything is warped.

Friends, heaviness and severity are not gifts of the Spirit. Joy is. And when it comes, God wants us to celebrate. Failure to do so does not demonstrate spiritual vitality. No. Only something oppressive will do this to us.

Because lovely things happen too…

You see, this is our destiny. In the story Jesus has invited us into, we are the Bride, and everything He teaches and embodies clearly demonstrates that He wants His wedding feast to be magnificently joyful.

The world is fallen and broken, but Jesus is making it new, and because of Him, when the lovely things come our way, we can enjoy them…

…because they do.

What good news…


§ One Response to Lovely Things Happen Too…

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